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10 Human foods that are poisonous to dogs

10 Human foods that are poisonous to dogs

It can be tempting to share food with your pup, but many human foods make dogs ill. John Burns MBE, founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, shares what food is poisonous to dogs

Following recent video footage of viral sensation Lucie the Golden Retriever enjoying a Gregg's sausage roll, leading healthy pet food company Burns Pet Nutrition has issued a reminder to dog owners of what human foods you should avoid feeding your pets.

It can be easy to succumb to your pooches pestering for your snacks or treats, but it is not worth the hassle it could cause.

"Owners may think they are spoiling their pets but in reality, they could be killing them with kindness"

John Burns MBE, the leading veterinary surgeon and founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, warned: “There are considerable dangers with feeding pooches’ foods such as sausages that contain high salt and sugar content. Other foods like ice cream are high in sugar and even grapes and raisins are toxic.

“We all love treating our dogs, but do it with healthy snacks that are good for them, not foods that put them at risk. Owners may think they are being kind by spoiling their pets but in reality, they could be killing them with kindness.

“As alternatives, look to vegetables like carrots and broccoli. For fruits, try frozen apples and raspberries. Your dog will thank you for it in the long run.”

Dog sat by toxic food like grapes, chocolate and onionsDog owners should be mindful of which human foods are toxic for their pets

10 things that you shouldn’t let your dog snack on:

  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Sausage rolls and other processed meats
  • Chicken on the bone
  • Corn on the cob
  • Ice cream

But why can’t your dogs have them? Read on to find out the ins and outs of what your dog can’t eat and the reasoning behind it.


Chocolate contains a chemical stimulant that can stop dogs' metabolic process. Small amounts can cause diarrhoea and vomiting and in large quantities it can cause seizures, heart problems and even death.


Although the fruit is much-loved by humans, the leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain persin, a fatty acid that is toxic to your pup in large amounts. It can make them throw up or cause diarrhoea.


Dogs are much more sensitive to caffeine than humans so make sure your tea bags and coffee grounds go firmly in the bin. Ingesting caffeine raises blood pressure and can cause irregular heartbeats too.

Grapes and raisins

Both can make your pooch very poorly due to the toxicity of the food. It could cause your dog to develop acute kidney injury—which is the sudden development of kidney failure—along with a lack of urine production.

Macadamia nuts

Another one to avoid at all costs is the very fatty macadamia nut. We are not sure what chemical it is in the nuts that is toxic to dogs. They can cause diarrhoea, ataxia (lack of coordination) and even depression!


Onions contain a compound that attacks the red blood cells of dogs, limiting their ability to carry oxygen around their bodies. This can often lead to a condition called anaemia (low red blood cells).

Sausage rolls and other processed meats

Processed meat is bad for your dog because it is high in fat which can lead to pancreatitis. It is also high in salt and contains additives that may be toxic to your pooch.

Chicken on the bone

Don’t give your dog your leftover KFC or takeaway chicken. Bones from chickens are small, brittle and sharp, and can do a lot of damage to your dog's mouth and organs if left unsupervised. Not to mention the salt and fat content can also be very bad for them.

Corn on the cob

Corn can be digested by your dogs, but the cob is dangerous. It could mean your dog’s intestine gets blocked which could be fatal. Unless the corn is separate from the cob, it can be best to avoid for safety reasons.

Ice cream

Say it’s hot outside and you’re enjoying an ice cream. Your dog is giving you puppy eyes, but don’t cave in—it's not worth it. An ice cream is full of sugar, which your dog won’t be used to.

Additionally, some dogs are lactose intolerant, so be mindful that ice cream contains milk too.

What to feed your dogs instead

Puppy eating strawberry in gardenFruits like strawberries make an excellent cooling snack for your dog on hot days

Feeding your dog a complete pet food will give them everything they need. If you really want to treat them every now and then, organic human grade dog food is a delicious and healthy option, although a bit costly.

However, some great options for treats are vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and even cucumbers. Vegetables can be given raw or cooked and can be a great addition to their diet.

"Feeding your dog a complete pet food will give them everything they need"

Frozen fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and apples can be enjoyed by your dog for a cold snack if it’s hot outside. Other fruits like watermelon and banana will go down a treat with your dog. But with all fruits, just be mindful of the sugar content so they don’t have too much.

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